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Cyprus

Averof hits back at Tymbou claims

DISY's Averof Neophytou

Ruling DISY on Tuesday turned the tables on parties that charged the government has done nothing to stem the flow of traffic at Tymbou airport in the Turkish occupied north.

Party chairman Averof Neophytou said those who issued statements on Monday about the airport were part of the (Tassos Papadopoulos) government that decided not to arrest people who travelled through it.

Neophytou said certain officials issued war and patriotic declarations thinking people had a short memory.

All those who issued those fiery statements with such patriotism should remember under which administration it was decided not to arrest anyone crossing into the government-controlled areas after arriving through an illegal airport, Neophytou said.

He added that his party did not need any lessons in patriotism.

Cyprus problem hardliners DIKO and EDEK on Monday called for sanctions to be levied on companies and individuals who chose to use Tymbou airport in the north.

“Using the illegal airport of Tymbou not only displaces passenger traffic from the legitimate airports of the Republic of Cyprus, resulting in substantial revenue losses for the state,” said DIKO spokesman Athos Antoniades, “but it also serves to upgrade the pseudo-state while serving Turkey’s divisive intentions.”

The two parties’ reaction followed the release of data collected by international air-travel intelligence firm OAG, according to which Tymbou moved a record 3.5-4 million passengers in 2015, even though it can only offer flights which must touch down in Turkey first, adding to travel time.

By comparison, traffic at Larnaca airport was 5.4 million in 2015, while Paphos clocked 2.3 million. In 2016, Tymbou is expected to see an increase in traffic of over 14 per cent, the report said.

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